Posts Tagged ‘Activism’

Did you know that: 90% of undergraduate college women who have been sexually assaulted knew the perpetrator, and that fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes are reported to law enforcement? (Fisher, Bonnie S. “The Sexual Victimization of College Women.” National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. December 2000.) This is only one of the many shocking statistics that can be found on posters and flyers leading up to Take Back the Night. I’ve decided to interview Jen Levinson, a sophomore at Barnard College and one of the Co-coordinators of Take Back the Night to learn more about this event.

BB: What is take back the night?

Jen: Take Back the Night is an international movement that works to end sexual assault. At Columbia there is a student group called Take Back the Night that plans the annual Take Back The Night march, Sexhibition, and other events throughout the year.

BB: What happens during the march at Columbia?

Jen: Before the march starts we have a pre-march rally outside of Barnard Hall, and after that the women-led march walks all around campus and the general area for about an hour and a half reclaiming the streets and turning them into a safe space. In the middle of the march we meet for a moment of silence at the sundial before continuing on. Following the march, in LeFrak Gym (Barnard Hall), Take Back The Night conducts a speak-out where survivors, co-survivors, allies, and anyone else can share their experiences or thoughts [concering sexual violence and assualt]. Peer Counselors are available to talk to anyone who would like to (in person or on the phone) and Nightline extends their hours until 5 am that day.

BB: What do you mean by a women-led march?

Jen: With respect to the history of the movement, and by acknowledging the gendered nature of sexual assault, the Take Back the Night March is led by a section of those identifying as women–to create a safe and comfortable space as well as make clear that this is a women’s initiative. Following the women-led section the rest of the march is co-gendered.

BB: That sounds great! When is the march?
The march is Thursday April 16th at 9pm at the Barnard Gates, the speak out begins in LeFrak Gym at 11:00 pm.

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